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By Indu Kilam

She lies beside him, on the big walnut bed which came with her when she made her entry into the house. Oblivious of the warmth of his arm, which lay on her shoulder in protective warmth, she searchingly looked towards the bare wall, for some change, some sign. The wooden latticed window. Tightly shut and bolted, as if afraid to let in the cool breeze. Some deft and talented fingers had painstakingly crafted the intricate mesh. The beehive and, perhaps to let in some life to help her breathe.

The moon beams stealthily entered through the honeycomb, bringing with it, silvery light to illuminate the room. it fell on the bed, the dead walls and suddenly brought to light, the whole room. He continued to sleep, snoring peacefully, but she arose, as if in a dream.

Noiseless were her footsteps, as not to disturb the sleeper, she moved towards the window. Gently, opened the bolts that shut her from her secret desires and dreams. The intoxicating zephyr flowed in gently, playing with her loose hair and brought to disarray her diaphanous white dress. The scent of the soft breeze tempted her. She needed no cajoling for her craving was immense and she stepped out with a firm step. She rose up among the silvery clouds, conversed with the moon, desired the fiery sun, drank to the dregs, the waters of the mighty oceans, along with its venom and nectar. She burnt in the fires of hell and sang with the angels in heaven. She dived into the dark Hades and found the lost treasures.

She lulled the naked orphan on the street, she held her own in front of the mighty, fought battles like a warrior, unconquered and unwavering. She loved the way that only she could, returning back right in time to enter in her destined world. Closed the window, tight shut. Tiptoed to her side of the bed and lay down. He continued to snore, mindless of her desires, and the sun shone through the meshed window.

Professor Indu Kilam taught English in various colleges of Jammu and Kashmir, for more than 3 decades, and retired as Associate Professor from MAM Post-Graduate College from Jammu. A translator and a social activist, she has been working for the cause of women and children. She has to her credit, the translation of Ms. Naseem Shafaie's Sahitya Academy award winning collection of poems, 'Neither a Shadow a Reflection.' She has also translated a number of Dogri poems. Holding a brilliant academic record, she has a Masters in English and a degree in Law, and has been living in Jammu since 1990. Her poems are nostalgic and she moves with ease from the past to the present, penning memories with a delicate touch, making all, beautifully poignant.

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